It’s pretty interesting to learn about how a company got its name, and every company has a story. We learned about Square’s today, and it was almost called “Squirrel”, according to founder Jack Dorsey and Square’s Creative Director, Robert Anderson. MG Siegler broke this three years ago, but here are the full details, in tweets, fittingly:
What could have been: when Square was originally called Squirrel, the reader was an acorn. Squirrel payments, anywhere. pic.twitter.com/AKCaE1dw— jack (@jack) September 11, 2012
The original Squirrel interface. We redesigned this 4 times to get Square 1.0. This stuff looks so rough now. pic.twitter.com/qKzm0XAs— Robert Andersen (@rsa) September 11, 2012
And, finally, the inspiration for the Square logo came out of the most unusual 3D sketches. See the top? pic.twitter.com/NvPNYOxo— Robert Andersen (@rsa) September 11, 2012
Here’s Square on a really old iPod:
We tried. pic.twitter.com/VqSuycpi— jack (@jack) September 11, 2012
And the team whiteboarding it up:
Early Square whiteboards. In my apartment. pic.twitter.com/lZXjiahn— jack (@jack) September 11, 2012
Can you imagine if the company had stuck with the whole Squirrel theme? “Hey dude, do you have an “Acorn” reader?” Yeah, Square was the right move, and Acorn as the reader name would have been a bit tragic.
We’re told that “Squirrel” was just the early name that Dorsey was contemplating, so maybe it wasn’t such a close call. Regardless…whew.
Here’s Dorsey discussing the whole Squirrel name thing:
Dorsey has a thing with company names, as Twitter might have/almost was named after a Bubble Tea shop called Quickly.